South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday December 10, 2019

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July 2019 - Volume 16 - Issue 1




When It Comes To Patient Care - Invest in Training the Front Line

If you pay close attention, you’ll see examples daily. Examples where an hourly employee (not a manager, not an executive) has a service recovery that saves the day. Recently, I was up north attending a decent sized dinner party at a local restaurant. By decent size, I mean 12 people. We made the reservations in advanced and when we arrived at 6:15, the restaurant had done its job and managed to squeeze in a long table with twelve place settings. What no one (including us) thought about was the fact that several of the attendees were former Division I football players. This meant there was no way the meal would be enjoyable. We were packed around the table like sardines and the restaurant was equally packed. Before we could say anything, a busboy and our waitressed huddled up and announced to the manager: “We’re going to move them upstairs”. Apparently, there was a private room that none of us knew about on the second floor. The manager looked nervous and for good reason. The room was set to go for another group at 8:30, however the waitress figured she could pull it off, get us out, and the room reset within the two hours. And she / they did just that. The evening was great, but it would have been miserable if the waitress and busboy had not made the change. The same is true of patient care. All to often, it is the frontline orderly, valet, receptionist or other hourly staff who takes it upon themselves to make a great service recovery. And yet, how much training do we give these key people on customer service? We need to take time to make sure everyone knows they have the authority to make something right when it goes unexpectedly sideways. If someone does not know they can do something, usually, they won’t. If you want to increase patient satisfaction, invest in your front-line people. Your patients and their families will thank you.

Jay Juffre is Executive Vice President, ImageFIRST. For more information on ImageFIRST, call 1-800-932-7472 or visit

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